Speaking at Interactive Systems Corp’s Developer Conference in Los Angeles recently, Steve Auditore, president of the X Business Group, revealed the results of a study into the use of graphical user environments and desktop managers. According to the survey of X Window users, the Open Software Foundation’s Motif interface is way out in front, currently […]
Speaking at Interactive Systems Corp’s Developer Conference in Los Angeles recently, Steve Auditore, president of the X Business Group, revealed the results of a study into the use of graphical user environments and desktop managers. According to the survey of X Window users, the Open Software Foundation’s Motif interface is way out in front, currently in use with 47% of those users questioned. Open Look was the preferred environment for 12% of users, followed by SunView with 7%, Microsoft Windows and DECwindows at 3%, NewWave and Open Windows with 2% each, other interfaces accounting for 13%, while 10% worked with none. As far as desktop managers go, 33% of those surveyed said they were not using one. IXI Ltd’s X.desktop and Visix Software Inc’s Looking Glass tied for top spot with 13% of respondents currently using their respective front-ends. SunView was in use at 7% of sites, others accounted for 22%, while some 13% admitted that they did not know which desktop manager they worked under. Auditore examined the pros and cons of Motif and Open Look and concluded that while Motif is still restricted by the fact that it is not supported by Sun Microsystems, is not fully mature, does not include a desktop manager and has to be licensed, Open Look by contrast is not perceived as an open standard, is not supported by the likes of IBM Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co, and is not consistent with the look and feel of the bulk of personal computers. Questioned about what they would use in an ideal world, customers said they wanted industry standards and open systems in preference to alternatives. While recognition of Motif proved high, and Motif-based applications and environments were preferred, whatever the hardware system in place, knowledge about what the interface actually is, was low 68% said they would be using Motif in the future, 16% said Open Look, 4% will use SunView, 2% DECwindows and 10% will use others. Auditore believes that there is no single right answer to the graphical user interface question, and that there is little technical difference between Motif and Open Look. However, choices will ultimately be based on personal preferences, Auditore believes, and he advises customers that want to develop a more mature graphical environment to go for Open Look and those that want a low-level, open graphical user interface, to go with Motif. Regardless of the issues, Auditore found that all customers want to get Macced in one way or another – should be good news for Apple Computer Inc pushing the Mac into the Unix world.